YEREVAN, Armenia – AIESEC Armenia, with support from the United Nations (UN) Office in Armenia, held its premiere event, Youth Speak Forum, on February 13 at the American University of Armenia (AUA). The event brought together both young and senior leaders to form a diverse cross-section and multi-generational space for inspiring conversations around pressing global issues. AIESEC’S Youth Speak aims to enable young people to share their opinions directly on issues that are affecting them today, through the organization’s unique and interactive framework of Inspire, Engage, Act.
The forum this year was dedicated to the UN’s newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that is intended to guide the world’s development efforts into 2030. It created an environment where people from diverse backgrounds could cross-pollinate their ideas, share insights, and gain new perspectives, to create actionable outcomes to push the world forward.
Through the forum, Armenian young people were able to contribute to the conversation on “The World We Want” within the framework of the UN’s 17 SDGs which, if accomplished, will transform the world into a better place by 2030. The Youth Speak event page states, “We cannot afford such big decision to be made without the opinion of young people. That’s why we organize Youth Speak Forum to inspire young people, engage them in decision making process, and take those inspirations to action.”
The forum speakers represented some of the most active and innovative companies in Armenia. as well as other institutions, including the Central Bank of Armenia, Armenian General Benevolent Union, JurJur, IDEA Foundation, GG Taxi, World Vision Armenia, Zangi, PepsiCo, Ucom, Pink Armenia, and Teach for Armenia.
AIESEC, which has a long history working with Armenia’s youth that stretches back into the Soviet period, aims to develop “the leadership potential of youth through experiential learning, volunteer experiences, and professional internships.” It also enables “both employers and organizations to connect with a global network of talent.”
AIESEC in Armenia cooperates with universities and companies, organizes more than 20 international student exchange programs and four national and international conferences yearly, and offers more than 30 leadership positions for its full members yearly. It gives Armenia’s young an opportunity to develop their leadership and management skills by coordinating a team or a local committee, or by organizing a large international conference or a recruitment event.
With 26 years of activities, AIESEC in Armenia has brought international experience to more than 800 Armenian young people through its team leader and team member programs, as well as the international internship programs.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.